Mounting an all-out attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi before campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections drew to a close a day earlier than scheduled, TMC leader and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday threatened to send him to jail if it is proved that BJP workers, and not TMC workers as claimed by Modi, vandalised the bust of Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.
Calling Modi the “biggest liar” and the BJP workers “hooligans”, Banerjee said her government does not need the Centre’s help to re-install a bust of Vidyasagar. Bengal has the money to do that, she said, hours after the Prime Minister promised to install the bust at the very spot it was vandalised Tuesday in clashes during BJP president Amit Shah’s roadshow in Kolkata.
With the campaigning period curtailed following the Election Commission’s order, Banerjee hit the streets, reaching out to as many people as she could. In all, she walked 18 km on the last day of campaigning.
Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Polling schedule, results date, constituency-wise results, FAQs, key candidates
Addressing a public meeting at Mandirbazar in Mathurapur Lok Sabha constituency, the TMC chief said: “He is the biggest liar. I have never seen a PM who speaks only lies. He should be made to squat, holding his ears, a thousand times for speaking lies and destroying the heritage of Bengal. If you can prove that TMC workers were involved in the (vandalising) incident, then I will quit politics. If BJP workers are involved, then I will send you to jail,” she said.
“The media has shown how Vidyasagar’s bust was broken. We have all the evidence. Bengali pride is so hurt that they will not spare the BJP. They will not give it a single vote,” she said. “Bengal does not seek alms from the BJP. We have the money for a new bust of Vidyasagar… Don’t you (BJP) feel ashamed saying Bengal has been reduced to a pauper state,” she said, referring to Shah’s remark that under her government “sonar (golden) Bangla has become kangal (pauper) Bangla”.
Alleging that the BJP will try to change EVMs at night, she told people to remain alert. “This is a new conspiracy hatched by BJP to alter election results. They will try to change the EVM machines. I appeal to all my brothers and sisters to guard the strong rooms with their lives,” she said.
She also slammed the poll panel: “I thought the EC is impartial but it seems it is sold to BJP. EC and BJP are brothers now. I am ready to go to jail for saying this,” she said.